Appointment Icon

UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Ankeny)

1055 Southwest Oralabor Road
Ankeny, IA 50023

00 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Jordan Creek)

180 Jordan Creek Pkwy
West Des Moines, IA 50266

00 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Waukee)

950 E Hickman Rd
Waukee, IA 50263

00 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic Family Medicine | Urgent Care - Lakeview

6000 University Avenue
West Des Moines, IA 50266

00 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Altoona

2720 8th Street Southwest
Altoona, IA 50009

00 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Ankeny Medical Park

3625 North Ankeny Boulevard
Ankeny, IA 50023

00 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Ingersoll

2103 Ingersoll Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50312

00 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Merle Hay

4020 Merle Hay Road
Des Moines, IA 50310

00 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Southglen

6520 Southeast 14th Street
Des Moines, IA 50320

00 Patients
Waiting Now

UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Urbandale

5200 NW 100th Street
Urbandale, IA 50322

00 Patients
Waiting Now

Taking care of yourself during pregnancy

by -

null

For your baby's sake and yours, it's important to take especially good care of yourself during your pregnancy. Follow the basics:

  • Don't smoke, drink alcohol, or take drugs.
  • Get enough rest.
  • Eat a healthy diet.

Doctors generally recommend that women add about 300 calories to their daily intake to provide nourishment for the developing fetus. Although protein should supply most of these calories, your diet needs to be well-balanced, including fresh fruits, grains, and vegetables. Your health care provider will likely prescribe a prenatal vitamin to make sure you get enough folic acid, iron, and calcium.

Over-the-counter medications are generally considered off-limits because of their potential effects on the fetus. Most doctors will recommend that you don't take any OTC medications at all, but they might offer a list of those they think are safe to take. Be sure to discuss any questions about medications, including natural remedies, supplements, and vitamins, with your doctor.

When you're pregnant, it's also important to avoid food-borne illnesses, such as listeriosis and toxoplasmosis, which can be life threatening to an unborn baby and may cause birth defects or miscarriage. Foods you'll want to steer clear of include:

  • soft, unpasteurized cheeses (often advertised as "fresh") such as feta, goat, Brie, Camembert, and blue cheese
  • unpasteurized milk, juices, and apple cider
  • raw eggs or foods containing raw eggs, including mousse and tiramisu
  • raw or undercooked meats, fish, or shellfish
  • processed meats such as hot dogs and deli meats (these should be well cooked)

You should also avoid eating shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish. Although fish and shellfish can be an extremely healthy part of your pregnancy diet (they contain beneficial omega-3 fatty acids and are high in protein and low in saturated fat), these types of fish may contain high levels of mercury, which can cause damage to the developing brain of a fetus.

Pregnancy also can cause a number of uncomfortable, although not necessarily serious, side effects, including:

  • nausea and vomiting, especially early in the pregnancy
  • leg swelling
  • varicose veins in the legs and the area around the vaginal opening
  • hemorrhoids
  • heartburn and constipation
  • backache
  • fatigue
  • sleep loss

If you experience one or more of these side effects, keep in mind that you're not alone! Talk to your doctor about strategies for alleviating any discomfort.